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Slight Upgrade ES339 Pro


Steve112

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Hi all, I've been enjoying my 339 for 6 - 7 weeks, have a few gigs on it now. Like any new owner I've been inspecting it now and then for any developing issues. I've known for years now that nearly every side-mounted plastic jackplate I've seen has suffered stress cracks during NORMAL use. Well, it was no surprise finding them on my new axe.

So I ordered the Gibson metal jackplate in nickel to match my hardware. It's almost a size match for the original but not quite, as the Epiphone is metric and Gibson isn't, just a millimeter or so larger. Took it to my tech, who plugged the old screw-holes and re-drilled them and did a great installation. I also had him replace the Epiphone output jack with a Switchcraft, even though it had given me no trouble. (it was a whole 3 bucks, what the hey!)

Labor was free as a warranty item, the whole cost for the work, plate and jack, $15.01

 

What WAS surprising was when I checked out the same guitar that just came out of the box and put on display, it too had small stress cracks in the brand new UNUSED plastic jackplate!!! They were about half the size of mine but you could easily see them. I mentioned this to my tech and he clearly wasn't hearing this for the first time.

Considering that these plates are common to both Epiphone and Gibson, it's probably a good idea to check these on any models that have these in that location.

This is NOT a bash on Epiphone though, I LOVE my ES339, it's a great guitar [thumbup]

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Thanks for the interesting post. I just took a look at my side-mounted jack plates, and except for a bit of light scratching there is no sign of any cracking or other damage. That's 3 plastics on the Casino Coupe, the Slash Les Paul and my Gibson LP Studio, and a plated metal one on the Lee Malia. They look like pretty sturdy pieces to me, but like anything that's manufactured there could be internal stress defects that might cause it to crack spontaneously. However my personal guess is that most of the time this is caused by plugging the cable directly into the jack (with no relief) and then stepping on the cord during exuberant play or otherwise causing excessive lateral transient pressure on the output jack. I always route the cable (like a pro) through my guitar strap, so that could possibly explain why I don't ever see any cracked jack plates.

 

TL;dr IMO cracked jack plates are rare.

 

Ken

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